The 11th annual Financial State of the States report, a nationwide analysis of the most recent state government financial information – completed prior to the coronavirus pandemic – has just been released and it found that 39 states did not have enough money to pay all of their bills. (Since then, COVID-19 and the accompanying government-imposed economic shutdowns, have further exacerbated financial problems at the state level.)
…Ironically, 49 states require balanced budgets by law and, as the report explains, “This means that to balance the budget … elected officials have not included the true costs of the government in their budget calculations and have pushed costs onto future taxpayers.” The vast majority of state debt comes from unfunded retirement benefit obligations…
The Financial State of the States report ranks [see below] the states by their fiscal health based on taxpayer burden. This is the amount of money each taxpayer in the state would have to pay if the state were to pay off all of its accumulated debt. (Conversely, how much each taxpayer would receive if the budget surplus was divvied up among taxpayers.)
The five biggest sinkhole states are:
- 50. New Jersey (-$57,900)
- 49. Illinois ($52,000)
- 48. Connecticut ($50,700)
- 47. Hawaii ($31,700)
- 46. Massachusetts ($30,100)
The five healthiest “sunshine states” are:
- 1. Alaska ($77,400)
- 2. North Dakota ($37,700)
- 3. Wyoming ($19,600)
- 4. Utah ($5,500)
- 5. Tennessee ($3,400)
The only other states able to pay all of their bills are South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho, Oregon, Iowa, and Minnesota.
Here are all 50 states ranked from financially healthiest to sickest.
2. North Dakota
6. South Dakota
15. North Carolina
24. New Hampshire
29. West Virginia
31. New Mexico
35. South Carolina
36. Rhode Island
41. New York
50. New Jersey
Editor’s Note: The original article by Peter Schiff has been edited ([ ]) and abridged (…) above for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor. Also note that this complete paragraph must be included in any re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.
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